Former New Orleans Saints safety and special teamer Steve Gleason has been chosen as the 2015 George Halas Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).

Gleason, 38, battles his well publicized myotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) with an openness and awareness, inspiring millions along the way.

His Team Gleason organization, as well as his Gleason Initiative Foundation, provide individuals with neuromuscular diseases or injuries with leading-edge technology, equipment and services, all through donated funds.

The Halas Award, named after Bears Hall of Famer George Halas, is awarded to a NFL player, coach or staff member who succeeds by overcoming the most adversity.

Gleason, who played for the Saints from 2000-2007, remains a presence as various team practices and on gameday.

He is the 46th overall winner of the Halas award, and the third Saint. Former New Orleans kicker Tom Dempsey took home the honor in 1972, while current Saints quarterback Drew Brees received the award in 2007.

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